I realised how most of us as young girls just want to be “likeable” rather than being “brave”. I started realising how important it is to be able to raise your voice and especially a voice that has been oppressed for years.Olivia Deka
Success isn't about how much money you make, it's about the difference you make in people's lives- Michelle Obama
As a Young girl, when I used to raise my hand to answer to my teachers when I was proactive in all the class discussions initiated by the teachers- I was being called Over-smart, Show-off and Bossy. Through the years, as it continued, my self-esteem dwindled and I was clouded by self-doubt. I started raising my hands less often, I stopped answering the questions I knew the answers to and I decided I will “fit in” the way my peers wanted me to.
Over the years, my self-confidence took a steep fall downhill. I became introvert, I would not like people asking me questions and standing in front of a crowd became my biggest fear. I suffered from an Identity crisis and didn’t even understand what it was until I was diagnosed with severe Clinical depression in 2015.
That was the time I started reading a lot of self-help books, engaged myself in a lot of research and found myself drawn towards the concept of women empowerment. Since I lost my Voice at a very young age; because I wanted to make sure my friends don’t judge me as an Oddball, and I wanted to be likeable- I realized how most of us as young girls just want to be “likeable” rather than being “brave”. I started realizing how important it is to be able to raise your voice and especially a voice that has been oppressed for years.
By the end of 2015, I wanted to create a community of young girls finding their voice just to help them feel empowered because somehow I knew helping others find their voice will help me find mine. I started SHE FOR CHANGE as a pilot project but I had no idea how to execute my plans or how to work on my vision. It took me 2 years to learn, grow, and find the right people who guided me and helped me work on my vision. Who instilled the faith in me that My Vision is not unrealistic. I found Ashoka Youth Venture’s network that helped me shape and change my Life, and today I have She For Change as a registered organization helping girls find their voices, believe in their dreams, find the right resources, tools and mentors to help them achieve their vision and basically instill the Faith and the courage to Dream Big, believe in them and Lead.
We need more Women in Leadership Roles to bridge the gender gap. If we are serious about achieving the development goals we’ve set ourselves, we need to be serious about empowering women, and especially girls, to learn, lead, decide and thrive. Developing the leadership capacity of girls in particular not only helps them to secure better livelihoods and better health today but can also create a generation capable of delivering future change.
That’s the mission of She For Change, that’s my vision of a world where there are more women leaders and more harmony and development.